Yes, it gets eas…well, maybe not.

I saw an old friend yesterday. We were friends back when my heart and soul was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. We haven’t seen each other in years. Since we lost touch, so much has happened. I went back to work. I went back to school. My kids have gotten so much older (but I haven’t). Some of us in the house were diagnosed with Celiac (that’s another future blog…www.celiacdemystified.org) and things have gotten easier.

Wait.

No. They haven’t.

Except, if you had asked me that 30 seconds before I had reconnected with this old friend, I would have said, “Yes, it has gotten easier,” but in fact, I was asked that and I didn’t say that. I couldn’t say that.

Almost 8 years in and I COULD NOT say it has gotten easier.

Here’s how the conversation transpired:

Her: Wow! It’s been so long. (Peering into my cart…) I feel like I’m forgetting something.

Me: Well, I don’t buy much here, we have celiac now so…

Her: Oh, celiac? But wait, didn’t you also have diabetes?

Me: Yes, we do have diabetes but we added celiac about a year ago.

Her: Oh, gosh, I remember that now. It was so confusing and difficult. Is it still confusing and difficult? Does it get easier?

Is it still confusing and difficult? Does it get easier? Is it still confusing and difficult? Does it get easier? Confusing? Difficult? Easier? Hhhhmmmm.

I have to impart some back story here…we were friends when my boy was JUST diagnosed. We were still on shots, the pen in fact. So she remembers me fumbling with pen needles, and cartridges, and lugging all the supplies around. Also, we were just learning how to count carbs, and even what carbs were, what diabetes meant, and how it was going to affect us in the long run. She remembers the crying. The pain. The uncertainty. The ignorance. The exhaustion. The everything.

We now have an insulin pump (have for many years). We now have the Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor (have for many years). We now use Nightscout #wearenotwaiting to remotely monitor glucose levels. We have advanced along with all the available technology out there. Gone are the days of pen needles, looking up carb counts in a book, carrying ketone strips for every number over 250 and so forth.

Back to the conversation…

Me: (Small laugh and smile) It does get eas…

Me: (Smile) It does get eas…

Me: It’s not so confusing and it’s not so difficult.

WHAT?!?! I couldn’t bring myself to say that it has gotten easier. I was shocked by my own words, or lack thereof. I FEEL as if it has gotten easier, but all I could muster was that it was not so confusing and not so difficult.

I guess it will never be easy knowing my son can die from Type 1 diabetes.

I guess it will never be easy knowing that my son is alive because of insulin.

I guess it will never be easy  knowing that my son will never get a break from wearing a pump, or giving himself shots, or counting his carbs, or checking his sugar.

I guess it will never be easy knowing that I will forever be up in the middle of the night making sure my son is okay.

What is easy is knowing that everything I do keeps my son happy, healthy and alive.

Yeah, that’s not confusing or difficult at all.

I do what I do because it’s what a D mama does.

 

 

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Middle School. Oops, I blinked.

Seven years.

That is how long we have been living with Type 1 Diabetes. I almost shouldn’t be writing a blog post at this time because I am uncharacteristically speechless. I cannot find the words to express how quickly these 7 years have passed. We started this journey in Pre School and we are up to the Middle School part.

Middle School.

Blink.

The amount of worry that I have for my heart starting Middle School is immense. I’m not really worried ‘about’ diabetes at this juncture, I am more worried about ‘because’ of diabetes. I mean I always worry ‘about’ diabetes; the highs, the lows, the in betweens, but this time I worried about the things that can happen ‘because’ of diabetes.

My son is awesome. Every mom thinks that, but if you know my son, you’d agree. He rocks. And we have been very lucky that we have made friends through the years that are equally awesome, and they equally rock. They don’t blink an eye when it comes to diabetes stuff. My boy is just my boy to them and that’s that.

Middle School is a whole ‘nother animal as they say.

There will be kids there that aren’t awesome, and that don’t rock and some will just plain suck. And my boy may not just be my boy, he may be the kid with diabetes. Ewwwww don’t sit with him, he has diabetes!!!! Ewwwww I’d never be your partner, you have diabetes!!!! You get what I’m saying. Things, bad things, sad things, happening to my awesome boy because he has diabetes. Oh sure, I may be exaggerating, but I may not be.

So my wishes from now on, on the 11:11 and the 12:12 and for every wayward eye lash, my wish will be that the Middle School kids see my son for who he is and not what he has. He is awesome. He is smart. He is friendly. He is funny, almost hysterical at times. He is obnoxious, I mean, c’mon he is 11. He is adorable.

Everybody has something. My boy has diabetes. As I hope he sees past people’s ‘somethings’ and gets to know the kid inside, and I wish they will do the same for him.

It’s my find-a-penny-on-heads wish, they always come true, right?

 

 

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Diabetes camp…

Well, we are there this week. Not we as in my son and I, but we as in my son and my heart. My son is now 11, and he hasn’t been to camp since he was 7. It’s a one week away camp for kids with diabetes and it should be the greatest week of our year. Shoulda. Woulda. Coulda.

He should be able to feel like he is not alone in this fight of being a kid with T1.

He should be able to make friendships with kids that fight the same fight so he has someone that knows how he feels.

He should be able to enjoy himself doing regular camp-y things, like fishing, canoeing, archery, while not once thinking about diabetes as his counselors think about it for him.

Shoulda. Woulda. Coulda.

I should be able to sleep through the night without having to get up and check his sugar, or his CGMS.

I should be able to enjoy leaving the house without all our D supplies, leaving me more room in my bag to carry things like chapstick.

I should be able to eat out on a whim without worrying about guessing carb counts and now gluten free foods.

Shoulda. Woulda. Coulda.

What’s really happening is he is not happy. He is giving his ‘hating this’ sign in every single picture I see of his face. So much so that I am wondering if he is just keeping that face on in case someone takes his picture without looking.

What’s really happening for me is I am confused. Confused because I feel out of sync. Not having care about diabetes for a week is just plain weird. Seven years is a long time. My pajamas have become my BFF. I have forgotten to eat meals, nevermind eating out. I’ve left my wallet home because I don’t even remember how to carry a bag without D stuff.

Thankfully my daughter thinks this is the greatest week in her life as I am binge watching all her favorite shows with her. She has taken the lead on everything this week, which is pretty awesome to see. So diabetes camp is a win-win for my daughter without diabetes.

What I am taking away from this week of shoulda, woulda, couldas, is that we’ve done a great job dealing with diabetes. We’ve done spectacular at making diabetes fit into our lives and not the other way around. My son doesn’t need to fill any holes with his diabetes.

The friends.

The support.

The activities.

We have it right here at home. He didn’t need to go to camp to find it, it was here all along.

 

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